Learning to Slow Down

This weekend, I slammed my finger in the door (blood blister—yuck!), hit my head in the closet, hit my cheek bone on the bookcase, and took a HARD fall on the cement while running Aslan—you know, the slow motion fall where in the middle of it, you know it’s going to hurt—and then you hit head first. (Granted, I was wearing rain boots. Note to self: Don’t run dog in rainboots.)

Ah clumsiness. Obviously, my middle name isn’t Grace. Is it just me, or does anyone else get really clumsy when life is crazy? I am going, going, going that I forget to slow down, and be careful.

Last week was busy. Lots of people over, lots of meals, lots of cookies, lots of parties, and a new puppy!

Sometimes I feel like my life is on fast forward and I am doing everything I can just to keep up with it. Often, I am the one to make myself so busy. Overcommitting myself. Saying yes to everything. Wanting everything to be awesome, or the ideal “pinterest” way. From simple chores, to running errands, taking care of my family, staying in touch with friends, getting together with people, ministry opportunities, big events…the list goes on and on. It’s life. And it’s wonderful. But I don’t think God intended us to run around with our heads chopped off. Yes, some seasons are way busier than other seasons. But regardless of what season we’re in, the Lord is with us always—we have the privilege of living in His presence. We have the opportunity to invite Him into every moment of our lives.

I notice that when I stop—stop my mind, and rest for a bit—and thank Him, think of Him, cry out to Him—I am living in His presence. But when I’m running around going from one thing to another, thinking about the next thing to cross off of my to do list, I just run ahead of Him. I forget, and disregard, His presence. I want to do things my way, in my time, now. Hurry. Worry. Anxiety. Ugh.

For me personally, I’m learning to say no. To really prioritize. To be okay with things not being “pinterest perfect”. To let myself just sit on the couch and read a book (still working on that one…even the thought makes me stressed to not be doing something…oh boy. I need help!)

But secondly, and most importantly, do I really live in the presence of the Lord? I know He’s with me always—but do I notice? Do I talk with Him? Do I cherish, soak up time with Him? Do I rest in what He’s already done, instead of trying to prove myself or find my identity in what I do?

Living in His presence.

Soaking up Him.

Dwelling.

Abiding.

Being.

Breathing out thanks to my holy, awesome, ever present God.

Abide. That word won’t leave my thoughts this week. Abide. Abide. Abide.

Slow down. And abide.

 

When do you struggle to just sit and rest with Jesus? 

 

 

 

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27 comments

  1. Hello Alyssa 🙂 this blog is so great it really spoke to me. I recently been so busy with finals and always just doing something other then just sit down and speak to God and during the week I felt like God was telling me just slow down and seek me pray don’t worry, and as I came across this blogg today I was so happy to know that it’s not just me its other christian that go through it too. Thank you for sharing I really enjoyed reading this and can’t to read more 🙂

  2. I think Jeff should just wrap you up in bubble wrap and stamp you fragile lol. But seriously, I know EXACTLY what you’re are saying. I worry about alot of stuff for absolutely no reason. I must work on the following things above more.

  3. I have been going through this same thing. My husband actually laughed and said that I needed to listen to an old country song. the lyrics go “im in a hurry to get things done, oh I rush and rush until lifes no fun, all i gotta do is live and die, but im in a hurry and dont know why”

    Even though thats not EXACTLY how i look at it, it really made me realize that i need to slow down. to enjoy the life that God has laid out in front of me.

    Even God says “be still and know that I am God.” and besides that being totally amazing and loaded- we sometimes need to just “be still” and watch the glory that He is unfolding to us.

    I am glad that I am not the only one.

    I recently read the book “The Shack” and wow- it was amazing. Just a little more simple look at how much He really does love us. I read it on Saturday- and it is all I can think of. The rest of the Saturday was just spent sitting on the couch with my husband- and relaxing. If we hurry up and try to get everything perfect, then it doesnt give Him much room to work. I am trying daily to give even the little things to Him, and relax in HIM being perfect. Thank you for this! i love reading your blog!

  4. thank you for this! it made my day!! 🙂

  5. this is the echo of my heart!!! GAHH I needed this

  6. So good! I didn’t learn this one until my son was born and all of the sudden my priorities became so clear. Such a valuable lesson to learn early in marriage and early in life. And such a good reminder even if we already think we have it down. 😉 xo

  7. What has Aslan got to do with running slow motion?

  8. Thank you Alyssa for your thoughts! Its easy to run ahead of God, then wonder why we are always “falling” and “stumbling”….resting in our Lord and surrendering each moment to Him should be our goal…thanks for that reminder!

  9. Awesome blog! As a single mom of two teenagers, I often find myself just going through the motions….. thanks for reminding us that slowing down is not a weakness but a real strength. I know God is in control and I need to give all to HIM to control for me.

    Love reading your posts! thanks and continue sharing your messages with us.

    In Christ,
    Carolina

  10. This is so perfect 4 me & other college students! It’s finals week & pretty stressful!! Keep writing up more blogs plssss
    God Bless You Alyssa 🙂

  11. Oh, Alyssa, I’m totally with you. It’s hard to slow down. And when you do slow down, then your thoughts are consumed with what you *should* be doing. I’m learning to let God prioritize my thoughts and the things I do. He knows best. Keep writing, girl! Like your posts! 🙂

  12. I can totally relate to all of your posts! Thank you for the great reminders and keeping the focus on our Heavenly Father!

  13. This really spoke volumes to me. A couple weeks ago it took a meltdown to grasp what is and what is not priority. Thank you for sharing your message of “slowing down”.

  14. This post certainly applies to me. I feel that I run non-stop. I’m not only busy with my own stuff, my husbands stuff but also my kids’ stuff on top of all the regular everyday stuff that is going on…
    My trick lately is I’ve started a little prayer que. Each time I am hurried, bothered, starting to stress about all I have to do and get done, when that other driver or person in line startin irritating me, when I start thinking negatively or being just plain grumpy, I say a thankful prayer. I start listing all the things, no matter how small, that I am grateful for. It helps me turn my mind and thoughts towards the Lord and remember that he ultimately has a plan for me and no matter what I am doing, going through or dealing with at the time that I am following his plan.
    Thank you for your wonderful posts, you put into words what my heart truely feels.

  15. Thank you for sharing this post & your thoughts! It definitely preached straight to my soul. It’s crazy- I feel like you just described my last week! Your authenticity has blessed me today. Thank you for slowing down to dwell in the Lord’s presence, and ultimately bless us all along the way!

  16. Alyssa! I feel the exact same! I’m 26 married to my hubby almost 4 Years now(I’d only hope to actually have things in order by now…)and a mommy to two beautiful little girls. To top it off we’re youth pastors! It’s not a full plate, I feel like it’s more of a buffet lol. So this season I totally overwhelm myself with things that have to be done, like feed my family, get to baking(one of my businesses) and make sure the youth gets what they need and providing for them a really nice season.
    I always imagined to be able to have things baking, pots on the stove cooking, while listening to carols sipping on hot chocolate, and a night full of fun.
    But everything else just comes a twirling when things have to be cleaned, set up, bought, prepped, frosted, refreshed…AHH
    I need a breather just thinking of it all. Then I come upon your blog. What a refresher.
    Thanks so much!
    Blessings

  17. Hello from Norway! I learned about your husband through his youtube “hits” – so great and true eyeopening videos than honour Jesus – through that I came to this blog – happy to read your honest thougths, a great help and inspiration to me!! Thankful that you started this blog! I will pray for your work. I wonder what bible study plan you follow – you seem to read very regularly – wonder how to read, and if you have any tips? Will take a look at a earlier post with reading tips again, maybe that`s the answer..:) Really liked this post, especially the photo – real life is not perfect at all, and at the end of the day “pinterest perfect” is neither interesting nor a good influence for me in the life I want to live! Struggeling to keep that in mind, thank you for your words!

  18. I often find myself struggling to sit and rest with Jesus when I have lost my focus and put my eyes on myself and my performance. Thank you for this. It’s the disease of this age and culture. As Christians I think we need to learn to be different from the world and rest in the loving arms of our Jesus. At the end – our relationship with him is what will matter most.

  19. Thank you for sharing Alyssa! He has been asking me to really rest and just soak in His presence. Your post is a confirmation.

  20. Dear Alyssa,

    Many thanks for this blog. Today, right now, I really needed to read these words and to be reminded to slow down to gain comfort and peace in God’s presence.

    Beautiful writing. Thank you.

    Hope you are healing up.

    Sincerely,
    Brooke

  21. Thank you posting this. This is nice to read during finals week. I was thinking to myself earlier this week that I would not have time to read my Bible until finals are over. However, I found myself continuing to read my Bible before going to bed a couple of times this week. I am looking forward to spending a great amount of time in the Word over Christmas break as well as being able to relax.

  22. Alyssa,
    This is much needed today. I am a stay at home mom of 3 with a 4 yr old at home and the others in school. My husband n I are young adult pastors as well. Busy does not describe our schedule. But I must say the word “Abide” has been on my heart a lot lately was well. I feel that The Lord is telling women that He is All we need. We tend to look to life for satisfaction without realizing it and He’s simply calling us back to Him. He has peace and love for us that we so desire but we just need to turn our faces back to Him. Thank you for this. I pray for you my sweet sister in Christ….I pray that you find the time to sit, rest and Soak in His presence. Know that your not alone. I struggle with this myself. But thankfully we don’t have to strive for more of Him…He is just waiting for us to turn or face. Bless you!!

  23. “Slow down and abide.” I love that! I too, have been a busy bee this month and it has been hard for me to find the time to even sleep! But yesterday I got up early and just spent time with God. Even though my day was still busy, spending time with Him helped me put the things I was filling my time with, into perspective. Not everything has to be done in one day. To take the time to rest the body and spend time with God is more important than getting those errands done. There are a few other phrases I say to myself to get me to calm down; one being “It’s not that Serious!” This helps me to reflect on the Philippians 4:6 which says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

  24. Yes! I need to learn to slow down as well. I’m still in High School so i have Advance Placement classes, then Church things i like to attend to and participate in. Theater, in which i’m either competing or preparing to compete and it all overwhelms me in times. And all glory to God, i thank you so much for posting this that opened my eyes to see that i do need to say No when it’s not convenient or the right time. God bless you 🙂

  25. Josie, hang tough! I am even learning at almost fifty, we have to work hard at striking that perfect balance. It does not come easy. I have learned that I need to take better care of myself to have the capacity to take on all of the other issues and priorities. So try to take good care of yourself in the midst of it all.

  26. Thanks for a powerful message Alyssa!! Really felt God speaking through your message. Definately needed this reminder!!!

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